She woke slowly, the warm rays of sun upon her leg, her ears filled with birdsong.
“Good morning, lass” The voice was deep, resonant. She tried to shield her eyes from the sun but he was standing in the luminescent rays, so she could not see anything more than a vague outline.
“g’morning” she mumbled, her throat thick and raspy. She was still muzzy, and wondered why the hell she’d fallen asleep in the park instead of going home?
“You’re likely a bit stiff from sleeping here all night, and perhaps a bit chilled. Let me take you to my home and feed you.”
She cleared her throat.
“Uh, thanks, that’s kind of you, but really, i live not far from here…”
His laugh interrupted her. How rude, she thought.
“Excuse me?” she said, her tone a bit caustic.
“Little one, you’ve come far and away in your sleep, and lay there, all unaware. Come. Rise, and I will show you.”
The tone was mild, no hint of rebuke or guile. What the hell was going on here, she wondered. She struggled to her feet, trying to tidy her skirt, her hair. The sycamore stood, somber and strong, and she braced her hand on it as she fixed her loose sneaker.
“Have a care, little one. The Tree is known for mischief, and it has taken a great liking to you…”
She moved her hand off the bark and stood up.
Without the full light of the sun blinding her, she could see that what stood before her was not a man. Or, not only a man.
He had wings.
She shook her head, trying to clear her vision.
“Problem?” he inquired, so casually that she knew that he understood her confusion.
“No, no problem. i always wake in the woods with a fairy man beside me” she responded, caustically.
“O, little one, you have fire within, don’t you? I do enjoy that in a sproutling!”
“Well?” She all but stamped her foot.
He lifted one high-arched brow.
Now she did stomp. Someone was playing a colossal trick on her or she had gone mad overnight.
She looked around the woods.
“Marcus? What the hell is going on here, Marcus? This isn’t funny, you know…”
She pulled back, drawing herself upright, shoulders back as Marcus had preferred. Some habits were hard to break.
“Pardon me?” Her voice was acid-biting. “How much did Marcus pay you to do this? Isn’t it enough that…” and she bit back the rest of her angry diatribe and glared at him.
He rubbed his bare chest.
She tried not to notice the six-pack abs, the toned pecs, the glorious hair that cascaded to his shoulders in loose curls. And the pointed ears sticking out of that sweet messy tangle.
No, no fucking way. Marcus was just screwing with her. She knew it.
He stepped towards her. He was so beautiful that she was certain he must be gay. Just like fucking Marcus to set her up this way. His manner was unthreatening, but she was alone. In the woods.
With a gay fairy guy.
She wondered if that was an oxymoron.
She held out her hand to forestall him, but he took one little leap and took her hand.
“No way, Peter Pan!” she yelped, but in a moment, a faint breeze riffled his hair and hers as his wings began to move. His grasp was incredibly strong…and extremely soothing. His other hand wrapped around her waist and pulled her to his chest, and she felt her feet leaving the ground.
She moaned, grabbing him tightly around the waist. She slammed her eyes closed, and buried her face into his neck. Gawd. She was flying? She trembled. She felt the smooth play of muscles in his back as his wings beat steadily. Trembling, she tried to pretend that she was home in bed, waking on Wednesday. The wind blew across them but he was giving off a ton of heat.
He smelled of cinnamon.
“Mmmm,” she heard him murmur against her hair. “nice..”
Funny, she almost said the same thing.